As the 2023–24 NBA season approaches with training camps just around the corner, there are a few high-profile situations that still have no timeline or clarity on how they’ll play out. Among them is the ongoing discussion over a potential Damian Lillard trade, which has linked the Trail Blazers and Heat for months now.

While Portland and Miami don’t appear to have taken significant steps forward in discussions thus far, the Heat remains the favorite to acquire Lillard via trade, though the timeline is very much up in the air. Although Lillard has typically remained quiet throughout trade talks and swirling rumors, specifically when it comes to any public comments, the seven-time NBA All-Star did address his “perfect world” scenario on the It Is What It Is Show.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had a surprising answer about his ‘perfect’ outcome amid Miami Heat trade talks.

Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Lillard’s answer to the question of whether he’d like to stay in Portland wasn’t quite what most surely expected. It didn’t include mention of Miami at all, quite the opposite actually.

“In a perfect world, I could spend my entire career in Portland,” Lillard said.

Obviously, Lillard has always voiced his appreciation and love for the city of Portland and the fanbase. He also opted not to request a trade for many years prior to this offseason, with the hope and belief that the team would build towards championship contention, but it simply never happened.

And for good measure, we also don’t know what Lillard’s teammates look like in this hypothetical “perfect world,” but maybe it involves the duo of Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

The Lillard trade saga is in the position where it could likely roll into the new NBA season, and how both the Blazers and Lillard handle that will be a hot-button topic over the coming months.